School Head Appeals For Aid To Improve School Infrastructure And Learning Environment.

General Kago Primary School Head receiving a motivational shield from John and Kelly Peterson of LDS Charities on behalf of the school during the handing over of furniture donation from the NGO.
The head teacher, General Kago Primary School in Thika West Sub-County Mrs. Jennifer Njeri Njuguna is appealing to the government and well-wishers to assist with the refurbishing and improvement of the institution’s infrastructure in order to improve the learning environment of her learners.

While thanking the government and several other organisations who have assisted the school in one way or another, the principal admitted that the resources at her disposal were not able to meet infrastructural needs of the school to ensure quality education.

She noted that clean, quiet, safe, comfortable, and healthy environments were an important component of successful teaching and learning. She reckoned that though a lot of resources have been ploughed into schools via the government funded free primary education programme, inequalities in terms of the resources available remained a big challenge due to inherited school infrastructural backlogs hence equity in terms of learner outcomes remained a challenge.

Mrs. Njuguna made the plea on Thursday at a handing over ceremony of 110 locker desks for their Standard Eight class, 50 duo-metallic desks for Standard Seven, 35 small chairs and 5tables for the pre-unit class and 16 tables and chairs each for the teaching staff, all donated by LDS Charities, a humanitarian wing of the Jesus Christ Church in Kenya.

“Education remains the foundation upon which a thriving society is built. It is one of the most significant long-term investments a country can make as it lays the substratum for a higher quality of life, greater employment opportunities and a better-skilled workforce. It is for this reason we are appealing for support both financially and in kind in order to help us continue to achieve these goals.  We are also grateful for suggestions of potential new partnerships to pursue and provide support,” she said.

Started in 1972, most of the school’s infrastructure is in a dilapidated state due to natural wear and tear as well as some being overwhelmed by the increase in the number of pupil enrolment.

For instance, most of the roofing in the classrooms are in a pathetic state, notwithstanding that they are made of asbestos. Asbestos dust or fibre are considered dangerous to human health as they exposes them to mesothelioma, a cancer which most often occurs in the lining of the lung and has no cure.

“Some of the infrastructure, especially our sewerage system which is usually overwhelmed by the big number of pupils as it was constructed with as smaller population in mind. Most our classrooms have no windows, exposing our learners to harsh weather conditions. These and other challenges are taking a toll on our education standards,” explained Mrs. Njuguna.

The school head lamented that a good number of her learners depended on the school feeding programme as their main source of food due to poverty levels in their families.

“Some of these pupils you see here survive with what we feed them here in school as majority of them come from surrounding slums where poverty level is quite high. School uniform and other necessities is also a challenge.”
GK Pre-Unit class performing a drama during the handing over ceremony. In the backgroung are some of the furniture that was donated to the school by LDS Charities.

Mrs. Njuguna appealed mentorship from Thika fraternity especially alumni of General Kago Primary School who she noted could inspire the learners by giving them hope for success.

“Some of these children attend classes while so demoralised due to the conditions at home. Some see no reason to work hard as they do not foresee themselves ever joining secondary school. We therefore appeal for mentors who will walk with these children to the end,” she said.

Data seen by our reporter on the ground indicated a rise in the school’s performance in the last four years. Last year, the school had a Mean Standard Score (MSS) of 224.75, which was an increase of 6.34 from the 2015 MSS of 218.41. More than ten candidates had scored more than 300 marks with about 40 pupils getting admitted to government

This year, they target to score a MSS of 250 which Mrs. Njuguna says needs concerted efforts from all stakeholders.

John and Kelly Peterson from LDS Charities promised to assist the school achieve its goals to shape the future generation.

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